National day for truth and reconciliation


Land Acknowledgement

The Perth East Public Library would like to acknowledge that Municipality of Perth East is situated on the treaty lands of Anishinaabe. This acknowledgement demonstrates a commitment towards the pursue of truth as we move towards reconciliation, while honouring those that came before us and on whose traditional land we now reside. 

According to the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, National Day for Truth and Reconciliaton is recognized on each September 30th. This day fullfills the Truth and Reconiliation Commission's Call to Action #80 and "will serve as a day of remembrance, reflection, action and learning" (Downie Wenjack Fund). Last year was the first year the holiday was enacted, however prior to this, beginning in 2013 September 30th was known and remains to be known as Orange Shirt Day, a day to recognize the tragic history and long-lasting effects of residential schools on Indigneous Peoples (Downie Wenjack Fund). 

Truth and Reconciliation Call-to-Action #80:  We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process (Downie Wenjack Fund).   

Orange Shirt Day was the predecessor of National Day of Truth and Reconciliation and is a grassroots movement, meaning that it was began by "ordinary people" opposed to government officials or large organizations. 

As per the Orange Shirt Society, Orange Shirt Day is in recognition of the harm that the residential school system had to children's sense of self-esteem and well being, as as an affirmation of our committment to ensure that everyone around us matters (Orange Shirt Day). 

People gathered for orange shirt day who are drumming


 The following story is of Phyllis Webstad and her experience going to a residential school:National day for truth and reconciliation

I went to the Mission for one school year in 1973/1974. I had just turned 6 years old. I lived with my grandmother on the Dog Creek reserve. We never had very much money, but somehow my granny managed to buy me a new outfit to go to the Mission school. I remember going to Robinson’s store and picking out a shiny orange shirt. It had string laced up in front, and was so bright and exciting – just like I felt to be going to school!

When I got to the Mission, they stripped me, and took away my clothes, including the orange shirt! I never wore it again. I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t give it back to me, it was mine! The color orange has always reminded me of that and how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and how I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared.

I was 13 years old and in grade 8 when my son Jeremy was born. Because my grandmother and mother both attended residential school for 10 years each, I never knew what a parent was supposed to be like. With the help of my aunt, Agness Jack, I was able to raise my son and have him know me as his mother (Orange Shirt Day).Phyllis Webstad with her son

I went to a treatment centre for healing when I was 27 and have been on this healing journey since then. I finally get it, that the feeling of worthlessness and insignificance, ingrained in me from my first day at the mission, affected the way I lived my life for many years. Even now, when I know nothing could be further than the truth, I still sometimes feel that I don’t matter. Even with all the work I’ve done!

I am honored to be able to tell my story so that others may benefit and understand, and maybe other survivors will feel comfortable enough to share their stories.

  • Attend an event for National Day of Reconciliation - Below is a listing of events both virtual and in person if you would like to participate
  • Wear orange on September 30th to honour Survivors of residential schools and those who vener returned home
    • If you would like to buy an orange shirt for this day, it is encouraged you buy from an Indigenous artist or a company that supports Indigneous causes such as Old's Cool General Store (which directs proceeds to Anishnawbe Health Toronto) or directly through the Orange Shirt Society
  • Listen to the stories of residential school Survivors from A Day to Listen or through other mediums and sites
  • Read books on the topic, we have a curated list on our website
  • Wednesday September 14th 2022 
    • Law Society of Ontario 5:30pm - 7:15pm
      • The Law Society of Ontario is hosting an Indigenous led-event as part of the Equity Legal Education Series in honour of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. 
      • This is a virtual event
    • University of Waterloo 12:30 - 2:30pm
      • Follow guide, Lorrie Gallant, as she gives a tour of the former Mohawk Institute Indian Resident School. During the video Lorrie Provides the history of the institution over its 140 year history as well as interviewing five Survivors of the Mohawk Institute. 
      • For more information, follow this link
  • Thursday September 15th 2022 
    • Kings University College is holding an in person event to commemorate National Day of Truth and Reconciliation
    • At 11am is a Reflection Circle including a Welcoming Ceremony, Fire and Community Lunch on the King's Green
    • At 7pm is a Public Lecture on the topic "Truth and Reconciliation: What We Inherited, and Actions We All Must Take"
    • Click here to register
  • September 23rd
    • University of Waterloo You Don't Know What You Don't Know Part 1: 1pm - 4pm
    • A virtual workshop, limited spots available
    • A journey through First Nations, Inuit and Metis Relations with settlers. 
    • Register here
  • Saturday September 24th 10am-5pm (Grand Entry at 12pm)
    • Waterloo Indigenous Student Center is having it's 19th Annual Pow-wow
    • This event is being held at Waterloo Park, grounds open at 10am with Grand Entry at 12pm
    • All are welcome 
    • To find our more, please visit this link
  • Sunday September 25th 12pm
    • Native Child and Family Services of Toronto 24th Annual Community Pow Wow
    • Livestreamed via Facebook Live
  • Monday September 26th 2022 4pm
    • University of Waterloo is featuring director and co-playwright, Hani Lauzon and Kaitlyn Riordan, co-playwright of the 1939 production at the Stratford Festival. 
    • This event will take place in person and virtually. 
    • Details for this event can be found here
  • Thursday September 29th 2pm 
    • The Adventures of Hay and Gizmo with Kristi White
    • Meet author Kristi White and characters Jay and Gizmo from The Adventures of Jay and Gizmo!
    • Kristi White is an author and member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames. Her focus is on Indigenous language and culture revitalization, and an awakening in boys' literacy.
    • Register here!
    • Virtual event
  • Monday September 26th through to Friday September 30th
    • National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is having their Truth and Reconciliation Week 2022
    • This is a free educational program for grades 1-12
    • Days 1 to 3 feature pre-recorded videos and there will be a live Q & A session
    • Day 4 features an in-person gather which will stream live for all those who are unable to attend
    • On September 30th, students will be able to view a live televised broadcast for Orange Shirt Day
    • Register here
  • Friday September 30th
    • University of Waterloo Truth and Reconciliation Walk, Learning Circle and Feast
      • Sunrise to 1:30pm, walk remarks begin at 10:30am
      • The sunrise ceremony, opening ceremoney and remarks and feast will take place on the Matthews Hall Green
    • University of Waterloo Keynote Address from Kevin Lamoureux on Truth and Reconciliation
      • Kevin Lamoureux is an Indigenous faculty member at the University of Winnipeg, award-winning scholar, author and an engaging public speaker. 
      • This learning event is open to the general public
      • Zoom webinar - 4pm
      • Register here
    • StreetARToronto: TRUTH Before Reconciliation Livestream
      • Livestream with Elder Whabagoon (Lac Seul First Nation), Artist Que Rock (Nippissing First Nation) and Barbra Gray (City of Toronto Transportation Services)
      • This event is being held via Instagram
    • Remember Me: Nation Day of Remembrance 10am
      • A national gathering to remember Indigenous children and families affected by Indian Residential Schools and all Indigenous child apprehension programs
      • This event will be livestreamed
    • The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund
      • Sarah Midanik, President and CEO is hosting a virtual dicussion to explore this new day of reflection, the significance of September 30, what this means for reconciliation in Canada and how to participate meaningfully 
        • Exclusive access to Downie & Wenjack Fund subscribers on September 23th, public access available on Downie & Wenjack Fund social chanels on September 30th
    • Christine Friday Performance
      • In person and virtual options available - in person event is in Oakville, while virtual tickets can be purchased here
      • 8pm
    • Griffin Art Projects
      • Join the most recent awardee of GRIFFIN’S Indigenous Studio Award, artist James Harry, for a talk about his most recent piece for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in collaboration with SOS Children’s Village BC. The talk will follow a Q&A led by Indigenous curatorial assistant, Emmett Hanly.
      • This event is virtual
  • September 20th - 30th
    • Reconciliation Run
      • Join others across Canada and run in the spirit of reconciliation
      • This can be done anywhere and anytime between the 20th to 30th
      • To access live presentations, videos and other resources about the purpose and meaning of the Reconciliation Run are available upon request through the Reconciliation Run website
  • September 30 - October 1 
    • Sault Ste. Marie Public Library presents Voices of Bawating 
      • each of the videos features artists form the local Indigenous Community sharing a different form of artistic expression. 
      • This is a free virtual event 
  • September 30th - October 3rd
    • Rising Hearts Virtual 5K Remembrance Run
      • "Run-bike-walk in solidarity! Wear ORANGE on September 30th – October 2nd . Uplift this injustice, demand accountability, fight for healing, and support the heart work."
      • Ways to Participate
        • You can join or create a team
        • Purchase stickers
        • Sponsor a relative/donate an entry
        • Donate
      • Learn more here
  • September 30 - October 16
    • Sault Ste. Marie Public Library presents Oral History - Residential Schools with Michael Cachagee
      • In this oral history, Mike Cachagee shares his experiences in the Canadian Residential Schools including Shingwauk Residential School.
      • This event is free and virtual
    • Sault Ste. Marie Public Library is featuring Shirley Margret Horn (Fletcher) for Oral History - Residential Schools 
      • Former Algoma University Chancellor Shirley Horn shares her experiences while she attended Shingwauk Residential School in Sault Ste. Marie. She also shares her journey to re-discover her heritage and how she has produced change for Indigenous communities through the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association.
      • This is a free virtual event
    • The Art Gallery of Algoma is hosting Woodland Art
      • Woodland art is unmistakably recognizable through the bright colours, bold lines, heavy black outlines of forms, and X-ray views of people, animals, and spirits. The works often carry powerful messages, symbolism, and spirituality as they translate oral traditions into visual stories.
      • Presented by local Indigenous artist Lucia O'Connor Laford, this video will explore Woodland artworks and their stories and history.
      • This event is virtual and free